Treaty to Save Euro Takes Shape, but Britain Sits Out [NYT]
European leaders, meeting until the early hours of Friday, agreed to sign an intergovernmental treaty that would require them to enforce stricter fiscal and financial discipline in their future budgets. But efforts to get unanimity among the 27 members of the European Union, as desired by Germany, failed as Britain and Hungary refused to go along for now.
IRS Plans to Ask Congress to Expand Tax Levy Power [AT]
The Internal Revenue Service is preparing a legislative proposal for Congress to expand its tax levy authority to include additional income sources, such as rental income and non-employee compensation. A new government report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that IRS revenue officers took the appropriate actions when issuing levies to collect unpaid taxes, but they still face challenges and delays in bringing taxpayers into compliance. TIGTA noted that while levy authority is a useful tool, there are limitations and challenges that can diminish its effectiveness for collecting unpaid tax. If the IRS does not effectively pursue its task of collecting unpaid taxes, it could create an unfair burden on the majority of taxpayers who fully pay their taxes on time, TIGTA acknowledged.
KPMG Warned Olympus in Accounting Fraud, Then Got ‘Careless,’ Probe Finds [Bloomberg]
KPMG LLP’s Tokyo affiliate signed off on Olympus Corp.’s 2009 results five days after the auditor confronted its camera-making client over accounting irregularities, according to the findings of a month-long probe. KPMG Azsa LLC auditors challenged President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and other executives over more than $600 million in takeover advisory fees and payments on other acquisitions, according to the report of an independent investigation into Olympus’s accounts. KPMG approved the company’s financial statement after an outside experts’ report Olympus commissioned justified the takeover costs.
Olympus Auditors Get New Scrutiny [WSJ]
In May 2009, Olympus Corp.'s external auditor was so troubled by transactions it had found while going through the company's books that it asked Olympus's top executives to resign. KPMG Azsa LLC threatened to notify Japanese authorities about the deals and warned Olympus that if the problems weren't dealt with, "it will be difficult to continue as your auditor," according to a recently released report on those transactions.
Deep Roots of Fraud at Olympus [NYT]
30 Years in the making!
Letters to SEC Show Support of Global Standards, According to Official [JofA]
In written remarks, SEC Deputy Chief Accountant Paul Beswick said the goal of a single set of high-quality, globally accepted accounting standards received strong support from those commenting on a May staff paper titled Exploring a Possible Method of Incorporation. But comment letters showed an interest in further progress on the joint standard-setting projects of FASB and the IASB before IFRS is adopted as the U.S. standard.
Obama makes Boehner’s job easier with payroll veto threat [The Hill]
Obama responded as well: “Rather than trying to figure out what can they extract politically from me in order to get this thing done, what they need to do is be focused on what's good for the economy, what's good for jobs and what's good for the American people,” the president said at the White House. He reiterated that he would not leave Washington for a planned Hawaii vacation until Congress passed an extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. “Get it done. And if not, maybe we'll have a white Christmas here in Washington,” Obama said.